Bridging ecojustice and media education

Greening Media Education

Bridging media literacy with green cultural citizenship

Media are a powerful educational force that teaches about the relationship between humans and living systems while also physiologically impacting the environment. However, although long considered a tool for promoting critical thinking and cultural citizenship, media literacy does not adequately address environmental sustainability.

book cover, Greening Media Education by Antonio López

Drawing on original research, Antonio López demonstrates how common media literacy practices reinforce belief systems at the root of unsustainable behaviors. By combining emerging literacies from social media, networked activism, sustainability education, critical media literacy, and digital ecopedagogy, the author offers a solutions-oriented critique and paradigm-shifting reappraisal of media education by advocating “ecomedia literacy.”

This groundbreaking book builds on López’s previous two books, Mediacology and The Media Ecosystem, by offering a cutting-edge and radical reappraisal of conventional media literacy practices. Written in accessible and jargon-free language, this book is ideal for students and educators of media literacy, media studies, and cultural studies, and will also be vital to those advocating sustainability education, environmental studies, and social justice.

Peter Lang Publishing, 2014

Sample chapter: Defamiliarizing Media Literacy (PDF)
Information sheet: Greening Media Education (PDF)


“Antonio López’s Greening Media Education combines issues of media literacy education with concerns regarding environmental education in a new synthesis that promotes green cultural citizenship, wholistic system thinking, and ecomedia literacy. This provocative synthesis brings together for the first time ecological themes that focus on media and the natural environment and pedagogical themes concerning gaining literacy in important arenas of our life about which many people do not reflect and are not literate in negotiating complex interactions with nature, technology, and other people.”

Douglas Kellner, George F. Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education, UCLA; Author, ‘Media Spectacle and Insurrection, 2011: From the Arab Uprisings to Occupy Everywhere’

“In Greening Media Education, Antonio López presents a deeply engaging analysis of the role of media education in the cultural commons. This essential book analyzes historical trends in media education and connects these with contemporary ecological systems in a rapidly changing environment. In the process, López provides pathways to innovation and transformative change for media educators that encourages them to think globally and act locally.”

Kathleen Tyner, The University of Texas at Austin; Author, ‘Media Literacy’ and ‘Literacy in a Digital World’

“With his new book, Antonio López has established himself as a leading thinker in the emerging field of ecomedia literacy. His book is a must read for anyone concerned about the transformation that must be made in media education if it is contribute to an ecologically sustainable future. His insightful use of an ecological conceptual framework provides the field with the needed sense of direction that moves beyond the misconceptions of the past.”

Chet Bowers, Author, ‘The False Promises of the Digital Revolution’ and ‘In the Grip of the Past: Educational Reforms that Address What Should be Changed and What Should be Conserved ’

“As an activist-scholar working in the ‘strange’ (after Maxine Greene) intersectional curricular spaces of media and ecological literacy, Antonio López has become a crucial leader who is assisting both academics and citizens with the reimagining of sustainability education for a present moment that is now co-constituted by planetary ecocrisis and global media culture. To my mind, Greening Media Education, represents his most critically exact, compendious, and powerful research to date on this emergent paradigm of democratic ecopedagogy and politics. This is a necessary and very important work.”

Richard Kahn, Core Faculty in Education, Antioch University Los Angeles; Author, ‘Critical Pedagogy, Ecoliteracy and Planetary Crisis: The Ecopedagogy Movement ’

Greening Media Education draws the best from the media studies cannon and takes on unelected educational powers using a well-calibrated eco-ethical compass. The author’s deep environmental commitments provide a much-needed green perspective on the practices of contemporary media literacy.”

Richard Maxwell, Chair and Professor of Department of Media Studies, Queens College-CUNY; Author, ‘Greening the Media’

“Antonio López has been at the forefront of activist media education research in recent years. In Greening Media Education he weaves together the multiple strands of his praxis to provide a compelling vision of a more situated, sustainable and resistant pedagogy. In the era of the ‘creative economy’ and neoliberal instrumentalism, it may be crazily aspirational – but Lopez writes from the heart with profound optimism about media education for social justice.”

Julian McDougall, Associate Professor in Media and Education and Director of the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice,Bournemouth University, United Kingdom

“This book fills an important gap in media studies and media education. It should be read by everyone concern about the future of our planet and the way we have come to understand it. This is a significant and timely book combining theoretical insight with practical end empirical understanding. Sustainability and media literacy are not two separate entities but intimately related. Antonio López shows why this is the case and why media educators need to urgently integrate the two. [This] pioneering work in media education and environmental sustainability issues is both timely and significant. It is a major contribution that deserves to be read and discussed widely.”

John Blewitt, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom; Author, ‘Understanding Sustainable Development’

“With Greening Media Education Antonio López provides an essential framework for K–12 educators who seek to integrate critical thinking media literacy into sustainability education. This work will help teachers and students support the flowering of a media literacy ecosystem where social justice and environmental stewardship are joined at the root.”

Sox Sperry, Author, ‘Media Constructions of Sustainability: Food, Water and Agriculture ’

“Antonio López provides much-needed critique of the current state of media literacy. In doing so, he maps out a new direction for us to take, prioritizing sustainability and social justice. His multicultural perspective provides an intersectional framework, creating critically nuanced solutions that we can all learn from.”

Andrea Quijada, Executive Director, Media Literacy Project

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